New Installation - what am I getting?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by MTGriz, Apr 29, 2006.

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  1. MTGriz

    MTGriz Cool Member

    Apr 29, 2006
    This is a great place to find answers, and I just spent a few hours getting educated, but found yet more questions to be answered.

    I am looking to order new service from either D* or E*. Would like to find out what I am getting if I order the following from D*:

    - Total Choice + local channels (Denver) + Setanta
    - hookup to 2 TVs (2 rooms)
    - 1 x SD DVR
    - 1 x SD receiver

    My setup at the house:
    - Two rooms wired with one line each, SD TV's for at least the next couple of years.

    I'd very much like to avoid adding any lines, but I'd certainly prefer to have dual-tuner capability on the DVR. From what I understand this may be possible via signal stacking. I am also not ordering any international channels initially (except for Setanta), but would like to have that option later without a need for upgrading hardware at that point if possible (thinking of Jadeworld).

    1) Per the postings here, apparently it is possible to stack the signal so that only one line is needed per DVR for dual-tuner capability with the right hardware. Does that preclude the use of a multi-satellite dish? If I have to purchase a stacker, can I expect the installer to supply one or is it cheaper to get it online and have it ready for the installer when he arrives? Is he going to charge me extra for labor? Can I do the stacker install myself? ;)
    2) What are the model numbers of the receiver, DVR, and dish included in the standard package? Can't find this basic info anywhere on the D* site.
    3) Will I be able to add international programming later without a hardware upgrade? Will this possibly require a second dish, and if so, would you recommend that be installed now with the initial install? What's the estimated expense?
    4) Concerning the lease, if I want to cancel service after say, 3 years, will I be expected to take down the dish and send all equipment received back to D*? What if it is no longer in working order, will they hold me liable for any repairs? Just trying to figure out what I am getting myself into :)

    I am still not set on either provider, but the answer to these questions will make my decision easier. One thing in favor of D* right now is the Setanta channel not available on E*. I am looking to have service by the start of the World Cup, and the German commentary would sure be nice. On the other hand, E* is cheaper with the current $100 discount program. I like the programming on D* better and also the fact that you can drop premium packages after 30 days without an extra charge. Also, the hardware supplied by D* seems more dependable. I've also posted this at the E* section to get feedback from that side.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
  2. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004

    Welcome to DBSTalk! You're right, this is a great place for information.

    I can't answer all of your questions, but as to the return of the equipment, D* does not expect the dish, etc. to be returned, just the receiver/DVR (maybe remote and cables that came in the box - I'm not exactly sure about that). As for working order, I'm guessing if you run into a problem with the equipment at some point, you would be working with them to get it taken care of and would most likely not run into a situation where you are returning non-working equipment.

    That being said, if the equipment you return is obviously damaged in some way that is not consistent with standard use, you would most likely be liable for something (i.e., if you get upset, cancel service, and bash the receivers before you send them back, yes, you'd be paying something extra).

    Good luck with your decision, and I'm sure someone will be along soon that can address your other questions.
  3. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    1. Supposedly you can use a stacker, and the current model receiver and dvr include built in de-stackers. However, I have yet to see anyone post that they have actually done this successfully. I have seen posts from one person who tried, but could not get it to work properly, however I have no idea what his exact problems were (he never figured out why it wouldn't work).

    2. The current receiver is the D11, and the SD DVR is the R15. However there is no guarantee that this is what you will get. The next earlier model for both is the D10 and the R10. You might get a D10, but almost for sure will get an R15.

    3. Stacking (at least with current consumer models) limits you to signals from the 101 satellite, which covers almost all of the channels that are available in the Total Choice packages. Local channels may or may not be on the 101 depending on your location. Foreign language will not be on the 101. HD (if/when you move to it) is also not on the 101. So stacking is not suggested if you expect to do anything beyond the basic package. Also, the newest dish (5-LNB) which is capable of receiving the new MPEG4 encoded signals is totally non-compatible with stacking. Right now, that would only impact getting HD, but in 2 years it could easily be different.

    4. The entire leasing concept/process only began on March 1st of this year. There really isn't any experience with it so far to be able to answer your question, other than whatever the contract you sign says.

    Good luck on your pursuits.

  4. MTGriz

    MTGriz Cool Member

    Apr 29, 2006
    Thank you for your answers!

    I guess I could live without the dual tuner capability. When a program is being recorded and I want to watch another channel I could just go to the second TV.

    What I am sort of amazed of as I compare D* and E* is that E* seems to be quite a bit ahead in their technical implementation. With just one line into each room you can get dual tuner capability and you will not need a receiver/DVR in each room. You can also watch a recorded program on your second TV. That assumes you start with brand new Dish Plus Pro and DVR 625 equipment. That seems like a major advantage of E* here...
  5. wolf0695

    wolf0695 New Member

    May 8, 2006
    international programming for dtv requires a special international dish
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